Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

And now this...

Monday afternoon I was volunteering at the local food bank when I started to get extremely nauseated and sweating profusely. It was terrible. Ashlynn was working with me and I didn't want her to have to stop so I asked and she was able to stay. We live very close to the food bank and it is such a small town that the people there know my daughter already.

I ran home to the bathroom and threw up. I went and laid down and realized I was having a very sharp pain in my upper right abdomen, actually under my bottom rib. I texted Ryan that I was having pain and that we would probably need to hit up the ER that night. Great.

Trip to the ER Monday night - nausea meds, pain meds, blood work and an ultrasound. Blood work and ultrasound were normal and they wanted to do a CT scan but their machine was down. Perfect. Went home with prescriptions for nausea meds & pain meds but was still in a lot of pain and nauseated.

Trip to the ER Tuesday night, different ER. Nausea meds, pain meds, blood work and a CT scan with contrast. CT scan was normal. Go figure. Every time I've had something wrong before (gastroparesis, gall bladder) initial tests showed nothing. I had to see a specialist and get additional tests to find what was wrong. Went home, again still in pain and nauseated.

I realized early Wednesday morning I left my phone in the room at the ER. Brilliant. Had to shut down all my accounts on the phone and change all my passwords. Thankfully it was a fairly inexpensive prepaid phone that only had 4 days of service left. The hospital says they didn't find it and no one has come forward with it. Oh well... My fault. Wednesday evening Ryan was an absolute sweetheart and bought me a new phone. He went to the store, picked it out, and got it activated. I am beyond grateful to him.

Thursday I was still in a lot of pain and couldn't eat anything at all. Along with all of my other symptoms I have no appetite. I smoke marijuana to stimulate my appetite anyways because of the gastroparesis but even that isn't helping right now.

I called and made an appointment with a doctor at my primary care physician's practice (she is out on leave). I got a referral to a gastroenterologist, some more nausea meds, and a prescription for some more pain meds to add on to the ones I take regularly for my chronic back pain. When I tried to fill the pain medication my insurance sent back a request for a "prior authorization" which means that the doctor has to explain why I need the medication before insurance will pay for it. They will only approve 1 fill of that medication every 90 days unless they see a good reason for me to have it.

The INSURANCE decides whether I need the medication. Not the doctor. Oh, and if I want to pay for it out of pocket I will lose my insurance because if I can pay for a $40 prescription out of pocket I somehow have the resources to pay for ALL of my own medical care. What In The Hell?! People probably think I'm exaggerating or lying when I tell them how bad things with my healthcare and insurance are.

Since I couldn't get the pain medication prescribed to me by my regular physician's office I had to go back to the ER for pain control. I waited in the lobby for 3 hours. They kept bringing back people that they could get in and out quickly instead of taking me back and getting me some help. "Pain won't kill you." What about people that kill themselves due to chronic pain?

Nausea meds, pain meds, blood work and this time an MRI of my bile ducts, pancreas and liver. One of my levels in my blood came back off (not sure if it was high or low). I just know they said something about my lipase levels and that it could be something with my pancreas. I had been suspecting that all along with where the pain is. Nothing showed up on the MRI so there really was not much to be done. I threw up a lot while there and also freaked out when I had to get the MRI done. I had a lot of medication... I finally went home around Noon on Friday.

I slept that whole day and night since I had to work the weekend. I just can't afford to take any time off and I especially can't afford to get fired. I really wish I could get the pain medication that was prescribed to me. As I sit here typing I'm in so much pain. I also have no idea how long it is going to take to get the appointment with the specialist. It could be weeks. I can't do this for weeks.

So this is what healthcare looks like now. Do not get sick. Prevention is definitely key because unless you have a ton of money you will not get proper healthcare.